Category: Business Guide

Hiring Contractors for Your Rental Property

October 17, 2017

Whether you’re a property owner in Singapore or a newly hired property manager, when it comes to handling a rental property, keeping every unit in tiptop condition is a number one necessity. Therefore, it really pays off to hire a professional contractor.

Before you start scanning the yellow pages and asking family, friends, and neighbors around, find out first how you should hire a qualified contractor to take care of your investment property.

Professionals Are a Must

Professionals provide quality work, and it is the most important matter in making sure that your rental units are in their best condition. Professional contractors vary mainly in knowledge and skills, and a little research beforehand can ensure that you hire the best worker.

When hiring contractors for property management, you need to consider the quality of work and the completion time. Though the cost must be considered as well, it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Look for someone who is an expert in a specific task, and not someone who claims that he knows how to do various things. For instance, if you need someone who does property management in Singapore to fix your electric lines, hire an electrician. If you need someone to fix the pipes and faucets, hire a plumber. Never be fooled by a contractor who claims that he “specializes” in 10 different jobs.

Require Certifications and Licenses

Singapore has a public database for licensed and certified workers related to property management and construction industry. Hiring someone with valid license and/or certification will ensure great work and protect you from great loss if in case the hired worker damages your property or himself. Countries have created regulations to protect property owners from scammers that agree to contracts that will never be fulfilled. When you choose to hire professional contractors, estimations are often free of charge, and all works are invoiced and well-detailed after problem inspection is completed.

Payment System for Contractors

An initial payment of 20 to 30 percent is typically required by contractors to get the work started. This enables your workers to purchase all necessary materials and start the work. If your managing agent employs separate workers, the salary of those employees are already included in the down payment. Your managing agent should not require you to pay an additional amount because additional workers are required when the job starts. Always be mindful with the expenses and never fail to check it every after major purchase. Your remaining balance should only be settled after the work is done, and the contractor should be able to provide you with a warranty in case of component failure or workmanship error.

Hiring a reliable contractor for a rental property can be difficult, especially when you’re not informed with the right things to do. Following the tips above will help you avoid scammers and ensure that your property is maintained professionally. Lastly, if working with a management company, you can ask these experts for recommendations for hiring quality contractors.

Trends in VoIP

September 26, 2017

Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is a type of service that allows you to make phone calls for free or at a cheaper price than a traditional phone system. As the name implies, it uses the Internet, that is why it is also referred to as Internet calling, IP telephone or Internet telephony. VoIP is hailed as the most innovative way of communication not just at home, but also in different business sectors, especially companies that have offices overseas.

In Singapore, it is considered by the business and communications sectors as the best way to cut down communication costs and is also an opportunity to tap into features that are not available in the traditional phone system.

Types of VoIP

VoIP works by converting the analog voice signals into digital signals (communication experts call this packets) and then transmitting these through a network or the Internet. Below are the different ways to use VoIP:

    1. Phone to Phone

    Sometimes called analog telephone adapter (ATA), phone-to-phone communication will let you receive and make calls if your standard landline is connected to a computer network. The phone will need the ATA to be able to convert analog into digital signals and transmit the converted signals with the use of VoIP.

    2. Computer to Computer

    Using VoIP, you will now be able to make and receive calls through a computer if both the sender and receiver are connected to the same network. This replaces the long-distance calls that are expensive, because you will only be paying for the voip in Singapore Internet service. Both the receiver and sender, however, need to install and register for the same software and use a speaker and a microphone to be able to connect. These VoIP software are usually free and easy to use.

    3. Phone to Computer

    Sometimes called IP phone, phone-to-computer communication is now possible and is gaining popularity even among those at home and not just in business. An IP phone is similar to your smart phones, but it needs an RJ45 connector so that it can use a network through a router. The IP phone already has built-in hardware and software for such purposes and it can even connect to Wi-Fi so that you can make calls anywhere even outside Singapore.

    4. Computer to Phone

    The same is true for making calls from your computer to a phone as long as both devices are using the same VoIP software and are connected to the Internet. It’s possible to make video calls as well if both the computer and the phone have microphones and speakers installed.

    5. Mobile Devices to Other Devices

    It is now possible to make calls from your phone to other mobile devices and vice versa, as long as both devices are using the same VoIP software and are connected to the Internet.

VoIP in Business

A hosted VoIP system for your business in Singapore is an investment that allows the company to do more things efficiently with less cost. Why is it cheaper than a traditional telephony system that has been used in business for years? VoIP integrates all the phone, video, and data bundles into one service that primarily uses the Internet.

That is why VoIP is a cheap, fast, flexible, and secure communications system for your business. But how will you know which hosted VoIP system is the right one for your company? Most companies hire a third party to host VoIP and to provide the necessary hardware as well.

When looking for a company that will handle your IP PBX telephone system, make sure that their services will fit the needs of the business. The perks usually include services and products for computer networking, cloud VoIP, PBX phone system, data management, telephone/computer and cabling, and video conferencing options. Other host companies have different packages for business VoIP and those that need special and advanced features.

The following services are the trends in business VoIP:

    1. Cloud VoIP

    The cloud VoIP is a system that is based on the technology called cloud computing. It means that all the data that are received, transmitted, and stored are placed in the Internet instead of storing them in the computer or other hardware. You may be surprised to know that cloud has been around since the 1990s as a means of storing data from point to point. Nowadays, cloud VoIP is considered an efficient way of storing data that will allow all users from the same company to access files regardless of the device used and the location of the user, as long as there is Internet connection. Businesses in Singapore can use cloud VoIP or cloud PBX (private branch exchange) even without the use of an IP PBX telephone system that will be discussed below.

    2. Hosted PBX

    Hosted PBX (private branch exchange) is type of VoIP system does not require the business to have their own VoIP system, but they can hire a third party to let them lease equipment and services. The company’s current telephone system may be used or replaced, and other devices such as mobile phones can be used through the hosted PBX. Employees can work outside the office premises with the use of different mobile devices, but they are still connected to the same VoIP system.

    3. PBX Phone System

    Some companies prefer a separate network for voice communications and another for data communications. This system is called IP PBX telephone system, PBX phone system or hosted PBX, which uses a converged voice and data network so that each employee in the company has one line to access the Internet, phone, and other non-traditional communication systems. It works as a telephone switching system within the company, allowing the employee to switch between the local traditional lines and VoIP, and vice versa.